I’ve been a mommy for over a year now, which means that we’ve officially been a breastfeeding family for as much time, too. Over that time, I’ve written here and there about our breastfeeding experiences, but now that we’ve reached the one-year point (which was my mental goal all along) and are still chugging forward slowly but surely, I thought I’d give a little update.
When last we met our heroine, Hadley was tapering off his feeding amounts and she was taking it tough. (Okay, third-person mode off.) Since summer vacation got out, I (obviously) haven’t been pumping and have taken to an “on demand” sort of schedule — in other words, he hasn’t needed to eat as much throughout the day.
We’re on a schedule, but it revolves around his meals (real food – breakfast, lunch, dinner, and sometimes snack) and nap times. He always breastfeeds in the morning (around 5am) and before bed (around 8:30pm), plus a couple during the day (often before or after the nap), with a bottle or two of 1/4 apple juice (and 3/4 water). So, I’d say that breastfeeding is becoming irregular, but still “a thing.”
As I’ve said before, this makes me happy (to be continuing on as long as he needs it, and for the bonding, loving-my-little-boy time), yet torn (I. Miss. Wine. And a handful of other selfish things, like leaving the party or having to sequester ourselves from folks). Hearing folks (well…just my mom, who’s been incredibly supportive considering she didn’t breastfeed, herself) encourage me to move on to cow’s milk since I’ve “gone long enough” whips me back to trying to enjoy those 5am feedings again.
In fact, I was reminded by the bitter side of this bittersweet milestone (weaning) today when I finally offered him his first bit of cow’s milk. As with absolutely everything else that goes into his mouth, he liked it quite a bit. (He was confused, I could tell – continually taking the bottle from his mouth to look over while smacking his lips – but at least he’s been on a bottle while at his grandmother’s during the school year, so that part was fine. And, no, we haven’t been able to transition to a sippy cup yet. One battle at a time, I suppose.) His stool was a little more, um, shall we say “active”, and I’m not going to make it an everyday occurrence quite yet, but knowing that it’s on the horizon puts a lump of sadness into my throat.
He’s not walking on his own yet. He’s still got his fine, golden baby locks. He only has two adorable teeth. He still needs me more than anyone, and doesn’t care who knows that he’s my biggest fan. He only communicates in guttural sounds and the occasional “oof” (which started off meaning “dog” but now means “cat”, “zebra”, “my favorite commercial, let’s dance” and a hundred other things). He still eats “with me” (as I say it)…but not for much longer.
The milk in a bottle is the first stepping stone towards growing up. When I finally resolve to accept that which I cannot change, I’m pretty certain that I’ll handle it better than, say, his father. But, in the meantime, I’m taking it awfully hard. The only way to get through is to cherish the mundane everyday occurrences and the experiences that we can share joyfully.
Now, what to pick for a Halloween costume before he can really say “No! I wanna be Superman!!” (or, God forbid, Spongebob or some other crap)…